“We’re just days away from the final at a packed MCG – and I can’t wait to see it. The MCG is my favourite cricket ground in the world bar none. It’s one of the great sport venues anywhere in the world,” Ponting wrote in his column for the ICC website.
After the completion of the Super 12 stage on November 6, Sydney will host the first semifinal on November 9, followed by Adelaide on November 10.
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The stage is then set for the Grand Finale at the MCG or the ‘G’ as it is known these days.
“We’ve the Boxing Day Test and I’ve so many great memories of walking out here in front of close to 100,000 people. When the national anthem comes on, the hair on the back of your neck stands up. You think you’re invincible and nothing can stop you.”
Ponting also spoke about the occasion getting into the players’ nerves at times. “Moments like that can overwhelm a player but, in truth, as much as you try and keep a lid on it, when you turn up, there’re always nerves and adrenaline.”
Ponting, under whom Australia won two 50-over World Cups — 2003 and 2007 — was coy about the potential finalists at MCG though he wished his countrymen, who are the defending champions, take on fans’ favourite India.
“Honestly, who knows who’s going to be playing in Melbourne. I hope Australia find a way to get through the group. South Africa are dangerous, but I’ll say what I did at the start and that’s an Australia vs India final.
“Australia have been a little bit off in most departments and India are missing Jasprit Bumrah, but it’s about playing your best cricket in the second half of the tournament and that’s what teams must plan to do.”
The Fair Dinkum Aussie added that irrespective of who makes it to the final, he will be present at the MCG to savour the occasion.
“I’ll be at the final and I really can’t wait. If there’re people who haven’t seen the MCG host a major game before, you must come and experience it. It’s hard to explain, but this place makes you feel like you’re apart of what’s happening out there and that’s quite unique.
“When I’ve looked around the stadiums here and seen the crowds that’ve turned up and the cricket that has been played, it has been a great tournament. The India vs Pakistan game was an awesome spectacle. I’m sure by the time we get to the final, it’ll be something special,” he concluded.